Blazing knocks by Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant helped Delhi Capitals knock Sunrisers Hyderabad out of the Indian Premier League on Wednesday (9) and move one step from the final with a tense two-wicket victory.
Shaw hit a quickfire 56 while Pant smashed 49 off 21 balls as Delhi chased down their target of 163 in 19.5 overs to win the eliminator in Visakhapatnam.
The left-handed Pant fell in the penultimate over and there was drama in the final six balls with Amit Mishra given out for obstructing the field after running in front of the bowler’s throw at the non-striker’s end.
Number eight Keemo Paul, who took three wickets in the Hyderabad innings, hit the winning boundary to trigger wild celebrations in the Delhi camp.
Delhi, who notched their first ever IPL playoff victory, will take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier on Friday.
“I was a bit nervous, but (Ricky) Ponting sir — head coach — and Sourav (Ganguly) sir — team mentor — believed in me, and I just went out there and played my natural game,” said Shaw.
“I think Rishabh Pant just batted beautifully. We will have fun tonight, and then we plan from there. It’s a big game (against Chennai), and we are going to prepare hard.”
The 19-year-old Shaw, often compared to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, led his team’s batting charge with six fours and two sixes in his 38-ball stay.
Shaw fell to paceman Khaleel Ahmed who struck twice in the 11th over of the innings including the wicket of Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer for eight.
Afghan star Rashid Khan also hurt Delhi’s chase with his twin strikes in one over, sending back Colin Munro for 14 and Axar Patel for nought. Delhi slipped to 111-5.
Pant, who was not picked in the preliminary 15-man Indian World Cup squad, then took the Hyderabad bowling apart with his power hitting to put the chase back on track.
“If you are set on a wicket like this, you have to finish the match for your team. I took it very close, but next time I will finish it for the team,” said Pant.
“Today, that was special because I didn’t try to hit the ball too hard. I was just watching the ball, and I was trying to time the ball.”
Earlier, Delhi’s bowlers restricted the Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad to 162 for eight after being invited to bat first.
Paceman Ishant Sharma led the charge with his two wickets including the prized scalp of Williamson for 28.
West Indies bowler Paul returned figures of 3-32 in his four overs.
New Zealand’s Martin Guptill top-scored with 36 off 19 deliveries but fell to the guile of leg-spinner Mishra.
Mumbai Indians, who made Sunday’s final in Hyderabad after outplaying Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai in the first qualifier, await the second finalist.